The Argo approach to software development

This post for MediaShift considers the development philosophies behind Argo:

Part of the mission behind NPR’s Project Argo is to construct a software platform that can maximize the output of a one- or two-person team of reporters. Project Argo is a collaboration between NPR and member stations to strengthen public media’s role in local journalism. As the project has progressed, we’ve realized that we evolved a set of design and development principles that have guided our work throughout.

This is how software invention looks in the era of the framework: Ten years ago, armed with an unstoppable designer/developer combo like Argo’s tech architect, Marc Lavallee, and our designer/front-end developer, Wes Lindamood, we would have built a system from scratch. But almost from the moment our planning for Argo began in early 2010, two things were clear to us: (1) Software such as WordPress, Drupal and Django gave us a great start toward what we wanted to accomplish. (2) No one piece of software would meet all the needs of our bloggers. The bloggers were certain to use tools like Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and Delicious in addition to whatever we used to publish their site. So we set about building a content management ecosystem, integrating a variety of systems into a coherent whole.

Read the rest at MediaShift.